LA Times: Remains of ancient elephant unearthed at L.A. subway excavation site "The first discovery, made just before Thanksgiving, was of a 3-foot section of tusk fragments, as well as fragments of a mastodon tooth, found at a depth of 15 feet at the Wilshire and La Brea excavation site, said Metro spokesman Dave Sotero. [more inside]
What if the New York City subway map paid homage to some of the city’s great women? It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” is a song James Brown recorded in a New York City studio in 1966, and, whether you like it or not, you can make the case that he’s right. Walking down the city streets, young women get harassed in ways that tell them that this is not their world, their city, their street; that their freedom of movement and association is liable to be undermined at any time; and that a lot of strangers expect obedience and attention from them. “Smile,” a man orders you, and that’s a concise way to say that he owns you; he’s the boss; you do as you’re told; your face is there to serve his life, not express your own. He’s someone; you’re no one.
The New York subway exposes riders to noise as loud as a jet engine. (SLGuardian)
Subway Reads: Free E-Books, Timed for Your Commute [The New York Times] “On Sunday, Subway Reads started delivering novellas, short stories or excerpts from full-length books to passengers’ cellphones or tablets. The idea is for riders to download a short story or a chapter and read it on the train. Subway Reads will even let riders choose what to read based on how long they will be on the subway — a 10-page selection for a 10-minute ride, a 20-page selection for a 20-minute excursion, a 30-page selection for a 30-minute trip. Delays not included.”
Yesterday, "A crazed woman trying to sell crickets and worms on a D train suddenly threw them all over the crowded car, sending it into chaos during the evening commute." "The air conditioning shut off and the screaming passengers were all stuck inside the sweltering car with the woman, who then treated them to antics for half an hour as the crickets jumped on passengers. The worms just wriggled on the floor." Today, actress Zaida Pugh admits she staged the incident, calling it a "a performance art piece meant to highlight the way people with mental and emotional health issues are treated."
"With neighborhoods in Brooklyn along the L line — among the city’s busiest subway routes — in anguish over losing their train to Manhattan for 18 months, New Yorkers living in so-called subway deserts have a message: Welcome to the club." [more inside]
Brand New Subway is a browser game that lets you build the New York City subway system, either starting from scratch or working from an existing model (including a few past and future plans). Predictably, this leads to all sorts of idiosyncratic designs which score poorly on the game's metrics for ridership and cost, but do much better on metrics such as Number of Figure 8s Through Hoboken. [more inside]
August Belmont Jr. builder of the Belmont Racetrack and founder of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT, now part of the numbered NYC Subway lines) had his own private subway car, the Mineola, built for him in 1903. Untapped Cities tracks it down. ''A private railroad car is not an acquired taste,'' wrote Eleanor Belmont, ''One takes to it immediately.''
The Yamanote Line is the most famous and well-travelled train line in Tokyo. Each station on the Yamanote plays a song (eki-melo, "train melody", 発車メロディ or "hassha melody") when trains are about to depart, differing by platform, direction and station. Click any post to listen to that station's eki-melo! (Links to sound clips can be tricky to discern - begin with the station list, find a station you like and then click on the title of song which follows the platform & station names.) [more inside]
Subway Reading: Taking Fake Book Covers on the Subway [YouTube] [Video] How would you react if you saw someone reading 'Getting Away With Murder for Dummies on public transport?' Comic Scott Rogowsky (@ScottRogowsky) took some pretend, provocative book covers on an underground operation. [via: The Guardian]
Follow Friday: @WWESubway uses professional wrestling GIFs to illustrate the vast panoply of experiences and emotions of the Subway sandwich shop aficionado. [more inside]
The Berlin Transportation Authority has built a website where you can see all of the trains, trams, buses and ferries moving through the city in real-time. Real-time map of Berlin subway system. [more inside]
Why New York Subway Lines Are Missing Countdown Clocks. Here is an engaging yet fairly thorough and technical explanation of the signal system(s) used in the NYC Subway (SLAtlantic) [more inside]
New York rat drags a slice of pizza down subway steps. Insert joke about inferiority of your preferred regional pizza here.
NPR flagstation WNYC's data team is on a quest for the longest possible NYC subway ride. And they suckered Jody Avirgan (538/AskRoulette/UltimateFrisbee) into riding all 11+ hours of it. He's live tweeting the experience, and will also be on WNYC's Brian Lehrer show (which he used to produce) tomorrow to talk about it. Got a question about the NYC subway? Go ahead and tweet him!
Engineering Geology of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) System, 1964-75 (J. David Rogers & Ralph B. Peck, published 2000) chronicles the construction of the subterranean components of BART.
It's been a while since we took to the rails together so it's time to buy our tickets and climb aboard for another trip around the world in the drivers cab. [more inside]
"The thing I find very exciting is waiting for the subway train and sometimes you'll get a glorious one that arrives decorated like a birthday cake!" Watching My Name Go By is a short 1976 BBC documentary about graffiti, artists, and graffiti artists in New York City. The film is based on Norman Mailer's 1974 essay for Esquire magazine, "The Faith of Grafitti." [via]
Manhattan 11031 A.D (SL New Yorker humor)
But as the city transformed into an exceedingly safe and exceedingly expensive place to live over the past two decades, it’s not only the crime and the pervasive decay that have fallen away, but the close proximity, creating a social commute that echoes and exacerbates a work commute that, at more than six hours a week, is the longest in the nation. People have always traveled to see their friends, of course, but rarely has it been so frequent or far to qualify as a commuteThe Social Commute: How the Big Schlep Is Changing the Way New Yorkers Live
Having trouble getting off the train? Crowds can get in the way, or sometimes an extremely bored bricklayer just seals you in the car.
A Guinness World Record Diary: Dr. Strangeline, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying About the Amateur New York Subway Riding Committee and Love the MTA
The Kiss of Desperation: A Disgusting Practice Vanishes With the Token/A Lewis Grizzard take on the subject from 1991
"As a chemist, I can tell you that no chemical is 100 percent safe all the time, under all conditions. Even I occasionally do a double take when I hear about the ingredients in some of our foods. But our fear of chemicals – what is often called chemophobia – needs to be tempered. [more inside]
In-N-Out’s Secret Menu isn't so secret, but Hack The Menu has put together a list of off-book items on a bunch of fast food menus.
Algiers Athens Bangkok Barcelona Beijing Berlin Buenos Aires Cairo Caracas Chicago Copenhagen Delhi Dubai Glasgow Guangzhou Istanbul Lima London Kolkata Kuala Lumpur Madrid Manila Mecca Mexico City Milan Montreal Moscow Munich New York Oslo Paris Philadelphia Prague Pyongyang Recife Rome Saint Petersburg Santiago Seoul Shanghai Shenzhen Singapore Sofia Sydney Stockholm Taipei Tehran Tokyo Vienna
NPR's Bob Boilen (host of All Songs Considered): "People ask me all the time to name my favorite Tiny Desk Concert. It's my desk and I've seen almost all of the nearly 400 concerts up close. So you'd think this would be easy. Moon Hooch have made it a lot easier." (video) [more inside]
Artist William Puck creates a set of LOTR-inspired notices for the New York Subway. [more inside]
An interactive visualization of Boston's subway system in February. With it, you can see where trains on the red, blue, and orange lines were at any moment on February 3 were in space and along their paths between stations, among many other things. [more inside]
Designer Adam Chang rode New York's trains for 20 hours, using 9 swipes to visit 118 stations, to bring you the NY Train Project.
What 11-Year-Old Kareem Granton Saw During 5 Days Roaming New York City (Warning: Slideshow format, but with original artwork.) [more inside]
Victor Vasquez knows NYC commuting can be depressing. As he says, “Standing under someone’s armpit, you just want to get home.” The MTA conductor livens things up with his unscripted announcements on the 1 train.
How an obsessed explorer found and lost the world's oldest subway. "The Atlantic Avenue Tunnel was sealed in 1861, shortly after Brooklyn banned steam locomotives within city limits. Legend has it that the tunnel was reopened in the 1920s when it was used for mushroom growing and bootlegging, and in the 1940s when the FBI opened it looking for Nazis. But soon after, it was lost. In the 1950s two historians attempted to find it and failed."
It was not the first time that Adam Magyar has had to explain his work to mystified observers. Born in Hungary in 1972, Magyar began taking pictures in his late twenties, roaming the streets of Asian cities and capturing images of Indian street vendors, Hindu holy men, and Himalayan students. His work evolved rapidly from conventional documentary photography to surreal, radically experimental imagery that reflects his obsession with finding innovative new uses for digital technology. A self-taught engineer and software designer who assembled his first computer while in his teens, Magyar captures his images using some of the world’s most sophisticated photographic equipment, modified with software he writes himself. Additional code, also of his own design, removes nearly all distortion, or “noise,” from his data, producing images of remarkable clarity.[more inside]
Something unknown, engineers say — and all the more intriguing to many residents for being unknown — has blocked the progress of the biggest-diameter tunnel-boring machine in use on the planet, a high-tech, largely automated wonder called Bertha. At five stories high with a crew of 20, the cigar-shaped behemoth was grinding away underground on a two-mile-long, $3.1 billion highway tunnel under the city’s waterfront on Dec. 6 when it encountered something in its path that managers still simply refer to as “the object.”
Inspired by the Massimo Vignelli NYC subway map and the upcoming Super Bowl at the Meadowlands, NJ Transit unveils a new Regional Transit Diagram (pdf) to help people take public transit between New York and New Jersey. [more inside]
Deep below the streets of New York City lie its vital organs—a water system, subways, railroads, tunnels, sewers, drains, and power and cable lines—in a vast, three-dimensional tangle. Penetrating this centuries-old underworld of caverns, squatters, and unmarked doors, William Langewiesche follows three men who constantly navigate its dangers: the subway-operations chief who dealt with the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, the engineer in charge of three underground mega-projects, and the guy who, well, just loves exploring the dark, jerry-rigged heart of a great metropolis. What Lies Beneath.